10 of the best window treatments for period homes

Make the most of your windows with these beautiful and practical blinds, shutters and curtains

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Windows are a key element in a living space, both in their design and as a source of natural light. Equally important is how you dress them to show them to their best advantage. With so many different window treatments on offer, deciding on the right one for a room can be difficult, but when chosen well, they can be a cost-effective way to update your home.

When assessing different options, consider the look and feel you want to create, and whether you prefer to draw attention to window frames and shapes or disguise them. It is also important to address any practicalities, such as retaining privacy, reducing draughts and insulating against cold and noise. From traditional curtains and shutters, to innovative blinds and films, there is something to complement every living space.

Country classic

Image above: When adding large patterned areas, reference the colours of other pieces in the room to pull the look together. The heavy print of this made-to-order curtain, in Summer Palace Cranberry cotton/linen-blend fabric by Laura Ashley, £35 per m, is diluted with a simple Roman blind, made up in Bacall Cream linen-blend fabric, £26 per m. 

Privacy pattern

Image below: The Window Film Company’s frosted Modello print is a stylish solution for street-facing windows. Priced from £30.

The Window Film Company modello print

Vintage brights

Kitchen areas should be light enough to work in, but if your eyes need shielding from the low autumn sun, this vintage-inspired Roman blind, made up in Kate Forman’s Cameo Rose linen blend fabric, is a lightweight solution. Priced £59 per m.

Cameo rose linen roman blind from Kate Forman

Frosted over

To avoid overpowering small windows in bathrooms and cloakrooms with heavy textures, try a decorative frosted film. Emma Jeffs’ dainty Lace window film retains privacy while letting light through. £56 for a sheet measuring W84xL132cm. Emma Jeffs Window Film

Emma Jeffs window film

Pretty pleats

Larger windows that are relied on to bring in plenty of light should be dressed with due consideration. This pleated blind from Thomas Sanderson’s Boutique collection accessorises a setting that mimics nature’s palette, enhancing the look and feel of the living space while maintaining a bright atmosphere. Price on application. 

Thomas sanderson boutique blinds

Curved feature

For irregular-shaped windows that are difficult to dress, opt for custom-made shutters. This design from Appeal Home Shading draws attention to the interesting arched shape. Priced from £225 per m2

Appeal Home Shading custom made shutters

Quick change

Create a new look effortlessly with Bloc Blinds’ Fabric Changer designs, from £28, which have a simple hook-on system. In a variety of colours, the roller blinds allow you to update your room to suit your mood.

Bloc Blinds fabric changer designs

Diffused glow

Add a subtle hint of florals with this discreet Hillarys roller blind in Esme Sparkle. It is an ideal option for south-facing living rooms, to shield out bright sunshine while still allowing through diffused light. Prices start from £86 for a H76xW61cm blind, including measuring and fitting. 

Esme Sparkle roller blind by Hillarys

Blackout panels

Blocking out light and noise when shut, window shutters with solid frames are the perfect solution for a good night’s sleep. This design from Shutterly Fabulous is priced from £290 per m2.

Shutterfly fabulous

Colour block

Introducing bold colours can seem daunting, yet will completely change the mood of a room. To avoid making spaces feel too enclosed, however, it is important to consider the size of the room when introducing large blocks of colour. For a well-balanced interior, mimic hues from patterned furnishings. This Expression shutter in Russian Velvet, from Santa Fe Shutters, adds a contemporary look to a traditional setting. Priced from £320 per m2.

Expression shutter in Russian Velvet from Santa Fe Shutters

Installation tips

  • ‘The installation of a window film is a straightforward process, requiring the use of a squeegee and soapy water. Once fitted, the film requires no specialist maintenance’  Sophie Roberts of The Window Film Company
  • ‘Owners of period properties often think that blinds aren’t an option, but with surface-mounted designs or blinds fitted within the recess, there is usually a system that will work for your home’  Cormac Diamond, managing director of Bloc Blinds  
  • ‘Wood is an excellent insulator, so shutters help keep out the cold. As their painted surface is scratch-resistant, they are also easy to maintain and simply need to be kept clean. Have them professionally installed to ensure a perfect fit’  Michelle Cooke, brand manager at Santa Fe Shutters